Ghana rolls out a 5-year anti-malaria plan

The National Malaria Control Programme ( NMCP) has laid out a five-year national strategic plan to help scale up malaria control and prevention in the country. The plan includes larvae source management, distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITN), mass campaign, as well as case management in all districts. This was disclosed by the Programme Manager of the NMCP, Dr Keziah Malm, in Accra yesterday at a press briefing on the 2021 World Malaria Day. “We all have to come on board, both public and private, because it affects us all,” Dr Malm said.

The strategic plan was predicted to lead to 175 districts with prevalence below 10 per cent, he said. Elimination was estimated to prevent 85.5 million cases, save 4,468 lives and avert $2.2 billion in health system expenditures, Ecobank’s Dr Edward Botchway said. It is imperative that any strategy to reduce it was embraced and supported by the entire society, he added. The economic impact of malaria in Africa is estimated to be $13 billion each year, he explained.

WHO Country Office in Ghana, Dr Sofonias Gatachew Asrat, observed that the African Region still accounted for the greatest burden of malaria. In 2019, the region accounted for 94 per cent of both the 229 million malaria cases and 409,000 malaria deaths reported globally. Between 2000 and 2019, malaria incidence declined by 29 per cent and deaths by 60 per cent, translating into more than 1.2 billion cases.

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